Misuse of Drugs Act 1977

Penalties.

27

27. F49 [ (1) Subject to section 28 of this Act, every person guilty of an offence under section 3 of this Act shall be liable

( a ) where the relevant controlled drug is cannabis or cannabis resin and the court is satisfied that the person was in possession of such drug for his personal use:

(i) in the case of a first offence,

(I) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 300, or

(II) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £ 500,

(ii) in the case of a second offence,

(I) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 400, or

(II) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £ 1,000,

(iii) in the case of a third or subsequent offence,

(I) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 1,000 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

(II) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both the fine and the imprisonment;

( b ) in any other case

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 1,000 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(2) Subject to section 28 of this Act, every person guilty of an offence under section 6 , 7 , 16 , 17 , 19 or 20 of this Act shall be liable

( a ) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 1,000 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

( b ) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(3) Subject to section 28 of this Act, every person guilty of an offence under section 15 of this Act shall be liable

( a ) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 1,000 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

( b ) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for life or such lesser period as the court shall determine, or, at such discretion, to both such fine and such lesser period of imprisonment.

F50 [ (3A) Every person guilty of an offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act shall be liable, on conviction on indictment

( a ) to imprisonment for life or such shorter term as the court may determine, subject to subsections (3C) and (3D) of this section or, where subsection (3F) of this section applies, to that subsection, and

( b ) at the court s discretion, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate.

(3B) The court, in imposing sentence on a person for an offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act, may, in particular, have regard to whether the person has a previous conviction for a drug trafficking offence.

(3C) Where a person (other than a person under the age of 18 years) is convicted of an offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act, the court shall, in imposing sentence, specify a term of not less than 10 years as the minimum term of imprisonment to be served by the person.

(3D) ( a ) The purpose of this subsection is to provide that in view of the harm caused to society by drug trafficking, a court, in imposing sentence on a person (other than a person under the age of 18 years) for an offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act, shall specify a term of not less than 10 years as the minimum term of imprisonment to be served by the person, unless the court determines that by reason of exceptional and specific circumstances relating to the offence, or the person convicted of the offence, it would be unjust in all the circumstances to do so.

( b ) Subsection (3C) of this section shall not apply where the court is satisfied that there are exceptional and specific circumstances relating to the offence, or the person convicted of the offence, which would make a sentence of not less than 10 years imprisonment unjust in all the circumstances and for that purpose the court may, subject to this subsection, have regard to any matters it considers appropriate, including

(i) whether that person pleaded guilty to the offence and, if so

(I) the stage at which he or she indicated the intention to plead guilty, and

(II) the circumstances in which the indication was given,

and

(ii) whether that person materially assisted in the investigation of the offence.

( c ) The court, in considering for the purposes of paragraph (b) of this subsection whether a sentence of not less than 10 years imprisonment is unjust in all the circumstances, may have regard, in particular, to

(i) whether the person convicted of the offence concerned was previously convicted of a drug trafficking offence, and

(ii) whether the public interest in preventing drug trafficking would be served by the imposition of a lesser sentence.

(3E) Subsections (3C) and (3D) of this section apply and have effect only in relation to a person convicted of a first offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act (other than a person who falls under paragraph (b) of subsection (3F) of this section), and accordingly references in those first-mentioned subsections to an offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act are to be construed as references to a first such offence.

(3F) Where a person (other than a person under the age of 18 years)

( a ) is convicted of a second or subsequent offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act, or

( b ) is convicted of a first offence under one of those sections and has been convicted under the other of those sections,

the court shall, in imposing sentence, specify a term of not less than 10 years as the minimum term of imprisonment to be served by the person.

(3G) The power conferred by section 23 of the Criminal Justice Act 1951 to commute or remit a punishment shall not, in the case of a person serving a sentence imposed under subsection (3A) of this section, be exercised before the expiry of the minimum term specified by the court under subsection (3C) or (3F) , as may be appropriate, of this section less any reduction of that term under subsection (3H) of this section.

(3H) The rules or practice whereby prisoners generally may earn remission of sentence by industry and good conduct shall apply in the case of a person serving a sentence imposed under subsection (3A) of this section and the minimum term specified by the court under subsection (3C) of this section shall be reduced by the amount of any remission so earned by the person.

(3I) Any powers conferred by rules made under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1960 to release temporarily a person serving a sentence of imprisonment shall not, in the case of a person serving a sentence imposed under subsection (3A) of this section, be exercised during the term for which the commutation or remission of his or her punishment is prohibited by subsection (3G) of this section unless for a grave reason of a humanitarian nature, and any release so granted shall be only of such limited duration as is justified by such reason.

(3J) In imposing a sentence on a person convicted of an offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act, a court

( a ) may inquire whether at the time of the commission of the offence the person was addicted to one or more controlled drugs, and

( b ) if satisfied that the person was so addicted at that time and that the addiction was a substantial factor leading to the commission of the offence, may list the sentence for review after the expiry of not less than one-half of the term specified by the court under subsection (3C) or (3F), as may be appropriate, of this section.

(3K) On reviewing a sentence listed under subsection (3J)(b) of this section, the court

( a ) may suspend the remainder of the sentence on any conditions it considers fit, and

( b ) in deciding whether to exercise its powers under this subsection, may have regard to any matters it considers appropriate.

(3L) Paragraph ( a ) of section 13(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1967 shall not apply in relation to an offence under section 15A or 15B of this Act, but each of those offences shall be deemed for the purposes of paragraph ( b ) of section 13(2) of that Act to be an offence to which section 13 of that Act applies.

(3M) The reference in subsection (3I) of this section to section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1960 shall be construed to include that section as applied by section 4 of the Prisons Act 1970 .

(3N) In subsections (3B) and (3D) of this section drug trafficking offence has the meaning it has in section 3(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1994 and in subsection (3D) of this section drug trafficking has the meaning it has in the said section 3(1). ]

(4) Subject to section 28 of this Act, every person guilty of an offence under section 18 of this Act shall be liable

( a ) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 400 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

( b ) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(5) Every person guilty of an offence under section 21 (1) of this Act shall be liable to be punished on summary conviction as if he were guilty of the substantive offence and in case a penalty on conviction on indictment is provided by this Act in relation to the substantive offence, he shall be liable to be proceeded against on indictment and, if convicted, punished as if he were convicted on indictment of the substantive offence.

(6) Every person guilty of an offence under section 21 (2) of this Act shall be liable

( a ) in case the regulation in relation to which the offence was committed is a regulation made pursuant to section 5 (1) (a) of this Act, other than a regulation regulating the transportation of controlled drugs,

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 1,000 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, and

( b ) in case the regulation in relation to which the offence was committed is a regulation made otherwise than under the said section 5 (1) (a) or is a regulation regulating the transportation of controlled drugs

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £ 500 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate, or at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(7) Every person guilty of an offence under section 21 of this Act, other than an offence mentioned in subsection (1) or subsection (2) of that section, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £ 400 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(8) Every person guilty of an offence under paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1D) of section 23 of this Act, as amended by section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1984, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £ 200.

(9) Every person guilty of an offence under section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1984, shall on summary conviction be liable

( a ) in case the offence is an offence under subsection (2) of that section, to a fine not exceeding £ 1,000,

( b ) in any other case, to a fine not exceeding £ 500. ]

(10)  F51 [ ]

(11)  F51 [ ]

(12) In this section—

relevant controlled drug” means the controlled drug in relation to which the offence was committed;

substantive offence” means the offence under this Act to which the attempt or, as the case may be, the aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring, soliciting or incitement was directed.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F49

Substituted (3.08.1984) by Misuse of Drugs Act 1984 (18/1984), s. 6, S.I. No. 205 of 1984.

F50

Substituted and inserted (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 33, S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

F51

Repealed (3.08.1984) by Misuse of Drugs Act 1984 (18/1984), s. 6, S.I. No. 205 of 1984.

Modifications (not altering text):

C20

References to fines in subss. (1)-(4) and (6)-(9) construed (25.06.2001) as per conversion in Euro Changeover (Amounts) Act 2001 (16/2001), s. 1 and sch. 1, commenced on enactment.

The Euro values of fines in this section are as follows:

£200 = €253.95 (Class E fine, see below)

£300 = €380.92 (Class D fine, see below)

£400 = €507.90 (Class D fine, see below)

£500 = €634.87 (Class C fine, see below)

£1,000 = €1,269.74 (Class C fine, see below)

References to fines in subss. (1)-(4) and (6)-(9) construed (4.01.2011) by indexation in Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 6, 7 and 8, S.I. No. 662 of 2010.

Definitions.

3.— In this Part— ...

“class C fine” means a fine not exceeding €2,500;

“class D fine” means a fine not exceeding €1,000;

“class E fine” means a fine not exceeding €500;

...

“commencement date” means the date of the coming into operation of this Part;

“enactment” means—

( a) an Act of the Oireachtas,

( b) a statute that was in force in Saorstát Éireann immediately before the date of the coming into operation of the Constitution and that continues in force by virtue of Article 50 of the Constitution, or

( c) an instrument made under—

(i) an Act of the Oireachtas, or

(ii) such a statute.

Class C fines.

6.— ...

(3) Where an enactment enacted before the commencement date provides that a person who commits an offence under the enactment shall be liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding an amount that—

( a) was provided for by virtue of a subsequent enactment enacted during a period specified in column (2) of the Table opposite a particular reference number specified in column (1) of the Table, and

( b) falls within the range of amounts specified in column (3) of the Table opposite the same reference number,

a person who commits that offence after the commencement date shall, upon summary conviction, not be liable to that fine but shall instead be liable to a class C fine.

TABLE

Reference Number

(1)

Period

(2)

Range of amounts

(3)

...

...

...

3.

1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989

Not greater than €5,000 but greater than €2,328

...

...

...

Class D fines.

7.— ...

(3) Where an enactment enacted before the commencement date provides that a person who commits an offence under the enactment shall be liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding an amount that—

( a) was provided for by virtue of a subsequent enactment enacted during a period specified in column (2) of the Table opposite a particular reference number specified in column (1) of the Table, and

( b) falls within the range of amounts specified in column (3) of the Table opposite the same reference number,

a person who commits that offence after the commencement date shall, upon summary conviction, not be liable to that fine but shall instead be liable to a class D fine.

TABLE

Reference Number

(1)

Period

(2)

Range of amounts

(3)

...

...

...

3.

1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989

Not greater than €582 but greater than €291

...

...

...

Class E fines.

8.— ...

(3) Where an enactment enacted before the commencement date provides that a person who commits an offence under the enactment shall be liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding an amount that—

(a) was provided for by virtue of a subsequent enactment enacted during a period specified in column (2) of the Table opposite a particular reference number specified in column (1) of the Table, and

(b) falls within the range of amounts specified in column (3) of the Table opposite the same reference number,

a person who commits that offence after the commencement date shall, upon summary conviction, not be liable to that fine but shall instead be liable to a class E fine.

TABLE

Reference Number

(1)

Period

(2)

Range of amounts

(3)

...

...

...

3.

1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989

Not greater than €291

...

...

...

Editorial Notes:

E145

Prospective affecting provision: person serving sentence of imprisonment under subs. (3A) in respect of which the court specified a minimum term of imprisonment to be served by the person pursuant to subs. (3C) or (3F) excluded from eligibility for parole by Parole Act 2019 (28/2019), s. 24(12), not commenced as of date of revision.

E146

Previous affecting provision: subs. (3A) amended (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 84(a), S.I. No. 390 of 2006; substituted as per F-note above.

E147

Previous affecting provision: subs. (3AA) inserted (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 84(b), S.I. No. 390 of 2006; substituted as per F-note above.

E148

Previous affecting provision: subs. (3B) amended (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 84(c), S.I. No. 390 of 2006; substituted as per F-note above.

E149

Previous affecting provision: subss. (3CC)-(3CCCC) inserted (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 84(d), S.I. No. 390 of 2006; substituted as per F-note above.

E150

Previous affecting provision: subs. (3I) amended (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 84(e), S.I. No. 390 of 2006; substituted as per F-note above.

E151

Previous affecting provision: subs. (3K) inserted (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 84(f), S.I. No. 390 of 2006; substituted as per F-note above.

E152

Previous affecting provision: subss. (3A)-(3J) inserted (26.05.1999) by Criminal Justice Act 1999 (10/1999), s. 5, S.I. No. 154 of 1999; substituted as per F-note above.